(Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press)
This year’s Oscars have “successfully” angered several groups of people. Several Academy members of Asian descent protested against the “perpetuation of racist stereotypes” (for a recap of what happened, read this).
The Academy’s response (full letter here) is, in my opinion, anything but apologetic. Let us zoom in to study some of the worst lines of the reply, and what they really sound like.
#1. “It certainly was never the Academy’s intent to offend anyone.”
Translation: there’s nothing wrong with our intention…Perhaps there’s something wrong with your interpretation? Why did you feel something that we did not mean? Surely Hamlet can only mean what Shakespeare intended it to mean.
#2. “It pains us that any aspect of the show was considered offensive.”
Translation: Yes, we understand that the stereotypes perpetuated at Oscars pained you. But don’t worry, your pain is just slightly less than our pain. Can you imagine how painful it feels when somebody finds you offensive?
#3. “I apologize for any hurt the skits caused.”
Translation: I want to say 2 things in 1 sentence (this is why it took me several days to reply to your complaint). First, I spoke with Chris Rock and the other senior members of the Academy. They don’t think it is a big deal. So I will apologize on behalf of…nobody but myself. Second, I apologize for your emotions. Oh, you want to know why I am not apologizing for my behavior? Because your emotions are what I have 0% of control over.
#4. “Our Awards Committee and Academy leadership will be exercising more oversight to make sure that concerns like yours are fully addressed.”
Translation: In future meetings, the Academy leadership will come up with news rules for the Oscars that meet the following criteria – 1) vague; 2) voluntary; 3) no performance reviews; 4) nobody held responsible.
For all the reasons above (and so many more between the lines), surely you can see how the Oscars “appreciate your perspective and take your points very seriously”.